__"Bronson Lee, Champion"(1978)__
Directed By:Yukio Noda
Starring:Tadashi Yamashita(Bronson Lee)
This is a really hard movie to review because of how little information there is on the movie. Theres no Trailer, Poster, Tag lines, and it was pretty hard to some quotes also.
Also known as "The Karate" and "Za karate 3: Denkô sekka" Wait..3? So theres supposed to be 3 of these movies? Well since I cant find anything on Za Karate 1 or 2, im guessing it doesn't exist? I seriously cant find shit on this movie, its virtually unknown. All I could find on this movie is one short review on a cool Brucespoitation website, a Amazon review, and a IMDB page which by the way calls it "Za karate 3: Denkô sekka". Another weird thing is it says the movie came out in 1975, but Yahoo movies claims it came out 1989..This movie looks waaay too shitty to have come out 1989. There isn't even a Wiki page on it, and the IMDB page doesn't even have a summary of the plot, and it doesn't say which actor plays who and even that is lacking. If you haven't caught on to it yet, then this movie is in the strange sub-genre, called Brucesploitation. Brucesploitation is the Exploitation of martial artist, and famous Kung Fu movie star, Bruce Lee. Many, many movies have came out that try and ride on the coat tails of Bruce Lee, most of them have characters named..well Bruce, but have the last name Li or Le.
The weirdest thing about this film is the name. I mean why is it called "Bronson Lee, Champion"? The Lee part is obviously referring to Bruce Lee, but the Bronson part confuses me. Are they trying to reference Charles Bronson? Well according to a lot of people its supposed to be a mix of Sony Chiba and Bruce Lee. I also found out the actor also Tadashi Tamashita is apparently a Karate teacher.
The Story starts off with Bronson Lee(Tadashi Yamashita) a Japanese-American living in Ohio with his grandmother, who dresses like a country music star, and sounds like John Wayne. He really does look silly with the big rag mop hair and giant stache. The connection to Bruce besides the last name is the fact they try to make it seem like Bronson is Bruce's son. Now the fact there are cowboys in Ohio in itself is bizarre, but the fact he somehow mastered Karate is even bigger. He and his Grandma Who for some reason talk like it were a bad western; come to a restaurant in Ohio, where she orders some Milk and Hamburgers(that's not kosher). Bronson Lee sees a add for a upcoming Tournament with 50k for prize. Bronson tells his grandma that he needs to go off to the Tournament to prove his skills. Bronson Lee then sets off on his journey to Japan. While there he decides to go get a bowl of soup from a restaurant and befriends some noodle sellers Sammy, a fat Asian man who's the comic relief in the film and comes off kinda like Costello making strange noises and just being weird. But I have to say he probably is my favorite character in this movie. Then theres Suzi, some girl who works at the Noodle house and is bullied by older men, and their grandfather, who gives Bronson a job there. Bronson Lee visits to Master Suzuki, the person running the tournament, Too bad for Bronson all the spots are taken. The people who took them are:
Go Kimada a bald man from Japan
Charles Martin who kinda looks like lionitus from 300, is from Belgium and fights with a Cudgel.
Willy Chang a Dart Blower from China
Gary Samson a Knife Thrower from the US
Joe Gonzales from Mexico and uses Whips and Hatchets.
And Black Tiger, a ruthless fighter from Singapore
But that doesn't stop Bronson, he then decide to go and get in by beating up another fighter, that fighter is Go Kimada. He fights him 2 Times, one in a park, and another time out side a restaurant, which has a pretty hilarious scene where they have a stare down and each breaks something on their table, with Sam looking on in fear, wheezing away. Well Bronson Kicks Kimada's ass, and gets in the Tournament.
Bronson ends up in the finals against Black Tiger, and a long..rather good fight scene ensues. Frankly Bronson Lee knows his Kung Fu, and while not the level of Bruce Lee, he still is good. The only problem I had with the scenes is the music. Was not digging the music at all, so I decided to play my own music. The music I used was "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen, but some Joe Esposito, or "Push It To The Limit" will also work. The funny thing to is I got it to fit pretty god damn well. Now in this fight Bronson and Black Tiger's fight gets pretty ugly, but ends in a draw. They decide to schedule another fight 3 days later. Some Gangsters who are with Black Tiger try to kill Bronson, and then end up kidnapping Suzi. Bronson and Master Suzuki go after the villains and Bronson ends up blinded. So they stop the Tournament, and Bronson ends up in a hospital. This doesn't go well with Black Tiger, who then Challenges Bronson. So Bronson being a no bullshit guy accepts and it cuts to them in some remote desert cliff. And Bronson, blind(and I mean blind folded Blind) fights Black Tiger. For this scene I played Bohemian Rhapsody, which halfway threw kinda didn't fit well but by the end it worked out quite well. Bronson wins, kills Black Tiger and stands there with all his new friends without any money, blind and badly beaten, Awesome.
I really didn't expect this to be a good movie, and I was pleasantly surprised. Good quality, funny, good frightening, the dub was horrible, but actually helped make it funnier. Don't let the cover misjudge you it really is a good movie. If you can get your hands on this little movie I really recommend buying it. The only place I know that has it is Amazon, on VHS, and its on Netflix watch instantly, that's how I saw it. If your a fan of corny Kung Fu flicks then this is a must have. And please somebody put this out on DVD!
Overall: Fighting: 4/5 Bruce Lee-ness: 2/5 Cheese:5/5 Gore: 2/5
Best scene: Any scene with Sam